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As we peered out the windows, it looked like a Currier and Ives picture as the women of the Charity League arrived for their Christmas luncheon in the dining room at the Smithville Inn overlooking the snow covered pond and woods.
Julie Descalzi greeted guests when they arrived and also made the iced snowflake cookies in a gift package for all the ladies to take home from the luncheon. Brenda Thomas reported she and her husband, Terry, are headed to Florida for the winter and enjoyed the holidays there with all their family. Daughter Lauren and her husband, Joe Foster, welcomed their first child, Lucas Thomas Foster, on July 3. Youngest daughter Paige and Ryan Boyd, who met while attending St. Joe’s, are looking forward to their destination wedding in St. John on May 17.
I enjoyed chatting with Bernadette Strecker, who along with Pam Targan, were in charge of the wide variety of shops that participated in the Mart this year. 2014 pin co-chairs Toni Juliano and Andrea Worrall gave additional instructions to ladies working on these sequined collectibles. Carolyn Hoeveler is still flying the skies with Jet Blue.
Charity League President Erin O’Hanlon looked festive in a gold lame sweater when she welcomed everyone to the luncheon that I enjoyed with Dottie Schaefer, Sue Phillips, Vonnie Price, Mary Ann Foley, Chris Coulter, Else Fetter and Carol Feussner. Else has been a member of Charity League for 49 years while Carol has logged in 46. Mary Ann Foley is looking forward to traveling with husband Jim since he recently retired as CFO at Shore Medical Center.
Past presidents Mary Ann Foley and Chris Coulter are co-chairing a new Mardi Gras fundraiser at Seaview Country Club March 1. Mary Ann modeled the texting gloves without thumbs and fingers Dottie Schaefer knit for her. Since Dottie started knitting classes at the Knitting Kniche on Asbury Avenue, she has been knitting socks, sweaters, gloves and scarves for everyone in her family. Vonnie Price told us about the chocolate-filled candies, bonbons and pretzels she makes to share with friends during the holidays while husband Ed is known for his homemade wines.
After the friends of Charity League posed for a group picture in front of the fireplace, Sue Phillips chauffeured Dottie Schaefer and this columnist back to Ocean City as the snow stopped and the sun came out.
The Crab Trap was the perfect setting for Eve Circle’s Christmas dinner and Kieran Murray and the staff had everything set up for the ladies when they arrived.
Barb Adams and Betty Ray were settled in when I arrived with Andrea Paul, Pat Custard and Joan Wilson. Betty is looking forward to the arrival of her second great grandchild this summer. Barb’s sons are flying in from California for the holidays and will head for Pennsylvania to celebrate Christmas with their parents, sisters and their families. Beth Lennox just returned from visiting daughter Lauren in Seattle, and also caught up with Polly Etling, who used to sing in St. Peter’s choir.
Anna Moroz from Russia, who has been in the United States for three years, was our waitress. After dinner, Alice Wolf gave out numbers for the gift exchange and pulled out the first number that happened to be hers. Next, for Kathy Heller, then Mary Woods, who when she reached into her gift bag, brought out a large and small green gift boxes with big red bows, greens and pine cones that light up.
Sue Jordan, new to this game, liked Mary’s gift so much she reached over and took the two gift boxes, but didn’t have them long as my number was called next and I took them from Sue. Since it was the second steal, I got to keep them. Anne Landolfi opened lots of gifts as everyone kept stealing hers. Gretchen Bingham was delighted with her angel night-light to add to her collection of angels, so nobody even thought of taking this gift.
Guest Judy Stevenson was the next to last number to be called and was thrilled with the lantern she got. Melinda Mayne brought a wicker basket accented with tartan check cloth, filled with coffee and Christmas mugs with hand-painted poinsettias on the wooden lid. Betty Ray opened this gift, but Sue Park ended up with it. Betty unwrapped the last gift, a painted, glass candleholder.
A little rain didn’t keep folks from stopping by Sun Rose book shop to meet local attorney Bill Subin and get him to autograph his book, “Closing the Gap,” about the trial of his client State Trooper Robert Higbee. My husband read the book and had a couple of questions for my Atlantic City High School classmate and I certainly wasn’t going to miss saying “hello.”
Jim and I stopped to chat with Richard Booth and Walt Swayze then caught up with Bill and his wife, Petie, inside Sun Rose where Nancy Miller and Roz Lifshin were busy taking care of customers. There was a steady line of locals, Jack Neall, Barbara and Rich Deaney, Bonnie Cotellese, Melinda Mayne and Chris Sauer, who stopped by for an autographed book. The Subins reside in Margate, but Petie loves shopping in Ocean City, so Bill was in for a long afternoon.
Children were having their faces painted by Ginny Mulford while Shawna Mulford created balloon animals and such and Snow White, portrayed by Ashton Flora, assisted with arts and crafts at the Exchange Club’s annual Christmas dinner at the Tuckahoe Inn. Jane and John Lugo are proud parents as daughter Jessica graduated from Stockton with a master’s in criminal justice with honors. Daughter Deanna, a senior at Rowan, just returned from studying a semester in Valencia, Spain. Oldest daughter Stephanie graduated college a few years ago and is manager of a Bonefish Grill restaurant in Viera, Fla.
Don McBride was busy taking attendance, but did have time to sit down and eat. Flutist Pam Whitman entertained during dinner with music of the season. Stu Sirott coordinated the dinner and took lots of pictures of children sitting on Santa’s lap. Rachael Kanefsky was easy to spot with her flashing Christmas light necklace and when Exchange President Warren Iredell invited her to draw the winning number for the basket of cheer, she drew John McGuigan’s number, much to his delight. Most of the ladies took home red poinsettia plants compliments of the Exchange Club.